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Really Something, All Right

I’ve been tagged with a meme. Which is perfect because I have had a little more time this week and yet I’ve been too tired to think of one… damn… thing… to write about. (argh!) So here we go, this one is about seven songs you’re into right now.

(Yes, I know these are all very “Alt Trendy”. Deal.)
(And some of these aren’t all that recent but… tough.)

The Killers, “When You Were Young”

The Raconteurs, “Steady As She Goes”

Muse, “Starlight”

Red Hot Chili Peppers, “Snow (Hey Oh)” – This is the only new song of theirs I like at all. And ironically, I like it a lot.

Rise Against, “Swing Life Away”

Fall Out Boy, “This Ain't A Scene, It's An Arms Race”

Mickey Avalon, Jane Fonda - When I first heard this I kept singing it in the car, stopping spontaneously to shake my junk (which I DON’T do), and pestering everyone I knew to see if they heard it too. (They hadn’t.) And then, I looked it up on the web and MADE my friends listen. It’s so old-school (in a weird cross-genre mish-mash), it makes me laugh. Here’s one of the videos from YouTube but you can hear the song most clearly (so worth it) by clicking on the link to his MySpace page.

And one extra I’ve just been coming back to lately…

Social Distortion, Sorrow

I guess, as part of this tag (?) I’m also supposed to do the “Real Moms” meme (??) which 1) I’m confused about, and 2) apparently, since I don’t “bare it all,” I’m technically not a “real mom” blogger (or so I assume from what I’ve gleaned from other “real mom” references here and there in my recent sporadic blog-reading.) However, I do understand the nature of why (besides personal privacy issues) I don’t bare it all every day…

I, ladies and gentleman, am a smartass. And, as with many smartasses, underneath the smartassery lies a seething mass of emotional debris and gushy feeling. Us smartasses tend to use witticisms to skate over the darker stuff because the darker stuff can get pretty intense… and who can live in that space every day? With smartasses (or at least this one), you get wry commentary… or poetry. I really didn’t think anyone would be up to reading my poetry on a blog. (And I really didn’t want to come off as that pretentious. Besides, you really screw up your options for submittals if you start publishing your stuff on the web.)

But it’s not as if I do not value the baring of blog souls, especially of moms! I support moms. Seriously. (I did share that whole thing about my twat so that’s somewhat close to the real mom thing. I think. I’m still kind of confused. (I guess that happens when you just skirt the fringes of the cool crowd.)) But to try to rectify the situation I am going to share with you my five year plan.


Drop out of school. (slacker)
Start a novel (before my mind turns to mush).
Track my ovulation.
Buy a bigger house.
Start working (a little) more (before mind turns to mush).

OK, that isn’t so much a plan as what is actually happening, but I think you can see where it’s all leading, right? We’re hoping for a second kiddo within the year. No, we’re not starting right this very second (see: goals before pregnancy turns mind to mush), but everything has been building towards this overall goal. Except for the drop out of school part; I just really wanted to write again and I couldn’t do both. Writing is a personal plan and the one I’m really hoping to make happen in and around the raising of the children.

All right, I’m lying. I really just like peeing on sticks.

(Shit. I’m sorry; the smartass thing just insists on asserting itself.)

As for the tags, I would like to invite anyone who wants to continue this music meme. It’s pretty fun. I’m also almost completely brain-dead; maybe I’ll tag someone tomorrow.

- the weirdgirl

(P.S. Explanations on the Real Mom thing are entirely welcome.)

I’ve been a bad blogger…

I haven’t written; I’ve hardly visited anyone; I’ve got writing group stuff I need to read.  I feel the kind of guilt you feel like when you sign up for one of those pen pal programs in elementary school and your pen pal from a distant land writes immediately, and you write them back and you promise to send a picture, and you actually really like your pen pal but still… you never write them again (even though they faithfully wrote a few letters before giving up). It’s that guilt that kind of lingers in the back of your head while you’re eating ice cream. You’re enjoying yourself too much to get up but vaguely you wonder, did I feed the cat like mom told me to?  Kid-guilty, man.

Except… except… we’ve been REALLY busy!

The thing I forgot is that even though this is the second time Keen and I are buying a house, this will be the first time that we’re SELLING one.  This last week has been spent packing up as much non-essential household goods as possible to make the house show-worthy. And… we’ve got a lot of crap. I think more than the usual amount of stuff that people collect. (But, you know, not at Clean Sweep levels or anything.) Lots of books, CDs, breakables, electronic toys and appliances, not to mention Chance’s things.  We’ve been in a small house with very few closets for a few years and we are overflowing.

Anyway. We’re aiming for next weekend for our first open house. It’s such a fine line between living in a house and staging it to show… the vintage teacups stay out, the Futurama DVDs get packed away. Tomorrow the cleaners come. After that touch-up paint begins.

I’m pooped. I’m not even sure what the date is. I don’t even think I’m within a three-day window guess of the date.  Right at this moment I could use both a cup of tea and Bender’s witticisms, thanks. 

This week should be better. I hope. (I promise not to be so consumed I give you a play-by-play of our moving.)     

Read you soon.  - wg


I’m sure some of you have noticed my spotty posting lately, and even worse, I am terribly behind in blog reading, too. And it may continue for just a while longer, however, I hope you all will forgive me when I tell you…


I didn’t want to post anything until we had the signed contract in our hands. This house is actually the one that Keen and I really, really liked that came on the market a week before Chance’s birthday. And well… we bid, counter bid, counter bid again (the selling agent seemed bent on inciting an emotional bidding war), another party swooped in (there were three of us bidding at that point), and the agent came back to us for a FOURTH counter bid… and that’s when we bowed out. Frankly, I was crushed (in that way where you try to front with a, “whatever, there’ll be other houses” but you’re still sniffling) but at the same time you can only pay so much for a house. No matter how perfect a house seems (and really, it felt like home) you still can’t get stupid about the money.

And then the agent called us back! That last swooping bid? The buyer backed out (or couldn’t get the financing, who knows?). And since our agent had wisely kept everything nice-like with the (greedy) selling agent, plus suggested strongly how WE could close the deal (which we could) she called us back and offered us the house.

It’s perfect… plenty of room, three bedrooms, 2 baths, with a couple of extra rooms to spare, on a beautiful street in the neighborhood we wanted! It’s a gorgeous Craftsman (and we wanted an older home) with all the built-ins and original wood, a sunroom, and lots and lots of windows. 

I love it so much I’m still afraid it will disappear. - wg

Somebody Has Issues…

The scene: Chance, Keen and I are all camped in the living room, still waking up for the day. Chance is mesmerized by Mickey Mouse Clubhouse (and so, apparently, is Keen).

Keen: “Shut up, Daisy!” 

Me, looking up from whatever I’m reading: “Um… a little angry there, honey?”

Keen: “That Daisy is a bitch!” 

Me, considering the TV thoughtfully: “Hmmm, I would have called her ‘high maintenance’ more than a bitch.”

Keen: “No, she’s a bitch! I feel sorry for Donald.” 

Me: “She is a little bossy.”

Keen: “Yeah!”

Me: “But… if you consider her high maintenance I’d think you’d have to call Minnie high maintenance, too. Look, they’re both wearing the fancy heels, high-end dresses, have manicured nails… hey, how does a duck get a manicure?”

Keen: “Minnie is wearing gloves.”

Me: “Whatever. Anyway, my point being, I think there is more than one high-maintenance chick in that clubhouse.”Daisy_duck_2

Keen: “No way, Minnie doesn’t have the snooty expression that Daisy does. You can just tell… Daisy is a bitch.”

It’s SO sad when actors go bad; all that life of privilege and rampant cosmetic surgery. Let’s hope Daisy checks into rehab soon. 

(Yet another fine example of the stirring intellectual debates that run rampant in our household.) - the weirdgirl

Oh BOY, That Happy Housewife Commercial Just Makes Me Want to Buy Something from Mr. Clean… OK, not really

We’ve been doing a lot of spring cleaning around here lately… the house, the garage, the yard. Not that we meant to do a “Spring Cleaning” (capital S, C, blah blah blah) – you can’t really say I’m one of those OC cleaners, I don’t mind it but there are definitely other things I’d rather be doing – however we sort of fell into cleaning by way of everything being a mess. Oh yeah, and we were having people over, and that we might move (eventually). Trying to prep, you know, trying to make things looks pretty.

Anyway, while I was cleaning I was struck by how much things really have changed and so I present to you…

Observations from a Lackadaisical Cleaner (a wg special)


Before Kids


After Kids


Dust covers everything, sometimes in a disturbingly thick layer. Copious amounts of allergy medication must be taken prior to cleaning   (and can sometimes be used to procrastinate further, i.e. “I’m out of   Benadryl”).


There is no dust anywhere… smudged fingerprints have invaded en masse, even in places you thought were impregnable to the invading force. The descriptor “dirty” has now been replaced with the word “crusty”.


Inspection of and cleaning under rugs, which only took   place infrequently, resulted in finding a little dust and maybe an ancient   Christmas pine needle.


Inspection of and cleaning under rugs results in the   discovery of a wasteland of food particles, dirt, toys, small animals, and   UDOs (unidentified dirty objects). Cleaning must occur weekly to avoid toddler snackage from occurring.   (Also see couch.)


The couch – a great place to find change when you’re dying   for Jack In the Box’s 2 for $.99 tacos. And, sometimes, the occasional sock.


The Couch – the   place for hip toddlers, featuring an all you can eat bar and storage facility   for those who “want to eat it later”.


Dishes and laundry use birth control some of the   time. Except for those slutty cups and forks.


Dishes, laundry, and their offspring, toys, breed… and are   holding a key party in your house right now. I can hear them giggling.


You assume that stain on the floor is from some kind of   beverage (before or after consumption) and it completely grosses you out!


You can tell by looking that stain #1 is a mixture of   smashed carrots, cheerios, and baby snot, while stain #2 is a spilled   milk/spit up juice combo.  (How do I know this?!)


Window cleaner commercials used to confuse you… how often   do you really need to clean stuff off your windows?




The phrase, “It’s not too bad,” in conjunction with   cleaning actually meant it wasn’t too bad.


The same phrase means, “Can we hire a cleaner?”


If you were careful, after a huge cleaning sweep, the   house could look nice for up to two weeks. OK, one week.


All cleaning efforts will be destroyed 20 minutes after   naptime ends.


Wild Party Pics (and none of them are Antonella Barba)

Last week was a really crazy week and I’m still trying to get my crap together recover. Not only we were trying to get ready for Chance’s birthday, but I also had a bunch of work projects unexpectedly come in, AND a house popped up that we were really really interested in (but that sad tale is for another day)… all while I was trying to cut out iron-ons and magnets (because of course I planned my creative projects while there was nothing else going on and I’m too stupidly stubborn to abandon anything).  BUT we managed to get through everything and just in time for daylight savings time.  Which I totally used as an excuse to sleep in until 9:00 this morning (thank you, Chance, for sleeping in too!). Thank heavens I work from home.

So, while I’m letting the caffeine infuse my blood, here are a few pics.

The FRICKIN’ SWEET cake my friend made!



Because it’s not a party without chalk.


Whoa! Puppets!


Just give me some sugar, man, I’m getting pooped.


Saturday was Chance’s second birthday. The changes Keen and I have witnessed since he’s been born and in this last year have been amazing. And for me (and Keen too), though the developmental breakthroughs are fascinating to watch, what I’ve really enjoyed, what I have so much fun with, is seeing him become the person he is.

One of the wonderful things about toddlers is their exuberance, and Chance has more than his fair share.  He’s been growing more energetic, socially and physically, every day… sometimes to the point of exhaustion (for all of us concerned). He loves being in the midst of any activity going on; he loves being outside or in any space that allows him to run; he loves being around people. Occasionally he does play shy, but at most Chance averts his gaze for ten minutes or so and then he’ll grab a hand to drag someone off to play. (It’s all a prelude to flirting anyway.)  He partied up a storm at his birthday bash.

As excited and outgoing as he is, lately Chance has been looking a little worse for wear.  It seems to go along with that exuberance; the inability to fear scaling a new height, explore a new trick, maneuver a body into some impossible space that happens at this age.  There are always new scrapes, new cuts, fading bruises and hair stuck up every which way. And the sudden growth spurts that seem to leave him hollow-eyed for a couple of weeks, as if his face can’t quite keep up and needs time to adjust to the added two inches of growth.  He is much too on-the-go to bother with growing sedately (and not at all concerned with the resulting appearances).  It’s almost as if his emerging personality, his emerging self keeps crashing into the world, just like he keeps crashing into walls (and floors and trees), until it must show on his skin.  (And as such the momentous presence of a toddler, new to the world, is seen.)

It seems par for the course for toddlers and I find it… well… when a tuckered two-year-old with bruised legs and sticky fingers crawls into your lap for some down-time and cuddles, and you feel their hot, grubby body snuggled into yours and breathe dust in their hair… I find it absolutely precious. This year has brought new illumination to an old turn of phrase…

My little ragamuffin. Happy Birthday, kiddo. I love you.         - mom

Someone please tell me...

Have I been living in a bubble?  I know that alternative rock doesn't get the same kind of play on the radio that other music genres do (we have one station in our area that plays alternative) but for the American Idol judges, who work in the music industry, to not even have heard of 311 seems a little bizarre to me.  Alternative rock consistently shows up in commercials and movies and, I thought, had become mainstream enough to not really be "alternative" anymore (like, since the 90s).  Am I wrong?   To date I've recognized every song that Blake has sung (and been very pleased to hear music that I like).  Paula and Randy keep labeling him as hip hop because he does beat box.  (WTF?  Hello?  You can cross genres!)  So which of us is living in the bubble?... because clearly someone has made themselves good and comfy and painted over the see-through walls.  (And if it's me in denial at how small alternative still is, someone please let me know!)

Other observations from tonight's American Idol...

Chris Sligh is officially my favorite of the guys.  (But, you know the girls are kicking ass.)

Jared Cotter reminds me of a taller Carlton.

I just want to grab Chris Richardson and make him shave.

AJ should never have been kicked off.

(My secret dream is that someone, some time, will sing It's the End of the World as We Know It just once on American Idol.  That would make my day.)            - wg

You Can’t See Me but I’m Cackling with Glee

My Little Einstein bootleg project (for Chance’s upcoming birthday) has been coming along nicely. I managed to hack together a nice looking invite (understand I’m not a graphic artist so it’s a learning process every time I do a new project – but I’m getting better! (and I’ve worked with graphic artists in the past so I’m picky)), I’ve got layouts ready for t-shirt iron-ons, and I had planned to do stickers but instead I found… MAGNET PAPER! This stuff is so cool! You put it through your regular printer and then cut the magnets to shape. I kid you not! I am so excited I must have turned into one of those crafty moms along the way somewhere. Actually, what’s kind of cool (again, “cool” seems to be the word of the day) is how many craft projects you can do without having any talent whatsoever! (And this is from someone who believes she has a modicum of craft talent, seeing as how I’ve done jewelry work for years.) But seriously, there are all these new products at the craft or office supply store where you can make nice looking stuff without a huge learning curve. It’s very empowering. And chuck full of short-term gratification goodness. 

So I thought I’d share a few images to date. What I’m ultimately planning for my lovely Little Einstein’s themed birthday bash is to have goody bags that have a t-shirt for each kid plus some magnets, and with an Einstein sticker on the bag.  Otherwise, I’m just going for some of the Little Einstein colors, you know, red and blue tablecloths, cutlery, etc. I figure the t-shirts and magnets are plenty of project work for the moment.  No reason to kill myself. Plus, these kids are two… they’re happy without a whole lot of gewgaws. OH! AND one of our friends who has just opened her own bakery catering company is making us a cake that looks like Rocket!! My friends ROCK! They really do.

Anyway, here are some images. Please excuse the poor quality here.  I originally grabbed and saved all images as TIFFs and after hacking my way around Photoshop and Illustrator to create print layouts I was too lazy to go back and resave the original images back to jpgs for posting here, so I just made screenshots from my layout files. Which is… *cough*… pretty much like making copies of copies. Um… which is one of the reasons why I’m not a graphic artist. But my files print great! Trust me. 

T-shirt Iron-On (we’re still debating the final text message)


My magnet set for the kids. (Please ignore the extra blue lines – those are for layout purposes and don’t print. I told you guys I was feeling lazy!)


Fun assorted images. 



Email me if anyone else is interested in files for print (as I know I can't be the only parent out there whose kid is nuts for the Little Einsteins). Bootlegging is so much fun!

 - the weirdgirl

Oh, lordy…

OK, let me set the stage…

Keen, Chance, and I go over to a relative’s house to celebrate a birthday. Now this is a family gathering so there is much opportunity for several Unnamed Older Relatives (UORs) to coo, gush, coddle, and encourage shamelessly any behavior that is even remotely cute (and some that are not) on the part of Chance. Really, it’s all a little sick (you know, in that way that’s mushily endearing because of all the obvious love and joy it brings to the UORs (and Chance) but at the same time produces sharp little stomach pangs at the thought of dealing with said spoiled monkey the next day).

So, at some point, out comes this Baby Genius video (obviously gunning after that pretentious Einstein market). This video has the usual “educational” kind of crap; songs, animated characters, large costumed sports mascots trying to earn a buck in the off season, children happily eating things (I still don’t get why they always have clips of children eating – isn’t there a child obesity problem?), etc. etc. but also all a little second rate.  The UORs wanted to show us how Chance “knew” all his numbers and could sing along with the song (sort of – he did seem to have a special affinity for the happy, animated ‘9’). After the frenzy of clapping, dancing, and hurraying the child prodigy ceased (you can picture it, can’t you?) this other song came on. A song about apples and bananas. I think the exact line was, “eat eat eat, apples and bananas”. And as I’m thinking to myself “What exactly is educational about this?” the dancing mascots and eating children change it up a bit. They start replacing the vowel of the words with other vowel sounds in the traditional order, A E I O U. As in, for ‘O’ the line would be “oat oat oat, opples and bononos” (so useful for children who are just learning to talk).

Anyway, this is the one that got me.  I was already zoning out slightly when the song got to ‘I’. Now I understand that the producers of this video were probably on a budget, and making up your own words in general might be hard on singing kids and mascots pronunciation-wise, not to mention that studio time is expensive so they probably didn’t have the dollars to get every take just perfect… but what came out for ‘I’ was…

“Ite ite ite, ipples (long I, thank god) and bininas”

Bininas! Pronouced like the female anatomical feature through which babies travel (at least once). Bye-nye-nas.  (Sing the line to yourself quickly and see what happens.)  I paused, did a double-take at the TV, looked at Keen (who raised his eyebrows at me in a very unhelpful way), and tried to control the urge to shout at the dancing UORs, “Oh my God! That rhymes with vagina!” (Which, if it had been at my own house with my own friends I totally would have done.  Plus, I would have felt the need to rewind the video several times.)

Am I the only one who thinks several older people shout-singing “Bininas!” at a family party is just fundamentally wrong?

I’m almost tempted to make it my battle cry.   – the weirdgirl

Scrambling the Schedule

I’ve been feeling like I’m in job limbo lately. Because I work from home I have long periods where I don’t hear from anyone and just communicate via email while working on projects.  Fortunately, I am very much a self-starter so I can maintain work loads even without hearing from people, and I talk with vendors quite a bit on the projects I’m managing (so, you know, I don’t become one of those nutters from lack of communication with the outside world). However, there is still a point where I will simply run out of work if no new projects come my way. Recently there has been a longer-than-usual silence on my managers’ end, by phone or email. To the point where I start to wonder… do I still have a job?

So yesterday at 5:30pm I received an email asking if I could come into work today. I don’t know if any other SAH/WAH parents experience this… it seems to be the dual phenomenon of “out of sight, out of mind” seesawed with a “you have kids?” forgetfulness. Luckily, Chance usually has a standing visit with his grandma on Thursdays but I’m never sure if my coworkers remember that or they just expect me to drop everything and come running. (Of course, it’s not like the Pavlovian paycheck isn’t beckoning.)   I’m lucky to have both sets of grandparents nearby, but I still can’t impose on them willy nilly, and I can’t imagine how other WAH parents without family near have to deal with the last minute summons.  And the usual catch 22 is that by the time I find, secure, and then pay for daycare all the money I’ve earned is gone. I’ve asked in the past for a three day notice and other times I’ve just told them I couldn’t come in (and to be fair not everyone I work with does this – my original manager is great). The thing I don’t get is that a lot of my coworkers are parents, too, and some of them are pretty mellow about the life/work balance thing… so does a 5:30 in the evening request for the next day sound reasonable or even doable for most at home parents? I’d love to hear other SAH/WAH parents’ experiences with their work situation.  - wg